HM Advocate v CJW

Criminal evidence – Admissibility of evidence – Exception to restrictions on evidence relating to sexual offences. High Court of Justiciary: Allowing a Crown appeal in a case in which the respondent, who was charged with coercing his wife to engage in sexual intercourse with another man and contended that she had done so willingly, sought to ask questions about two previous extra-marital affairs the complainer had allegedly had, and the sheriff decided to allow such questioning, the court held that that evidence would not be permitted at common law and it could not be permitted on an application under s 275 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995: even if the evidence were admissible at common law it did not relate to a specific occurrence or occurrences; it did not have significant probative value: and even if it did, that value would not outweigh the risk of prejudice to the proper administration of justice, including the complainer's dignity and privacy.

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